Misfuelling: Causes, Signs and Remedies

Wrong fuel problems or misfuelling is a common issue with hundreds of motorists getting caught in this issue. Even so, very few motorists fail to know what to do when this issue arises. Many people even don’t know that there is a team of experts that is dedicated to handling the issue the moment it arises until they need it.


Misfueling can be a very frustrating experience, and it usually happens when you don’t have the time to spare, or you are on your way to an important meeting. Misfueling always occurs when you are distracted, or you are in a big hurry. The trend is also common in cities and towns where the traffic is huge.

The stress comes because the motorists that have mechanical knowledge apart from adding water or checking tyre pressure and filling up with fuel. The lack of knowledge means that very often you panic because you see the possibility of a huge repair bill looming. These are some of the issues that I discovered, and solutions, when I put the wrong fuel in my car.

The Signs That You Have Put Wrong Fuel in Your Car

Apart from the obvious sign at the pump that lets you know that you have put the wrong fuel in your car, there are other signs that you need to watch out for that tell you that you have the wrong fuel in the car. Here they are:

  1. Problem Starting The Car Engine

To this regard, diesel engines get affected faster compared to petrol engines. Hence, when you put petrol in a car that is supposed to use petrol, the result is a lot of smoke that is caused by unused fuel. Subsequently, you experience stalling and sluggishness.

If you have been on the road and used the car for long running on the wrong fuel, chances are your car completely stalls. It might not be able to run the following day as well.

  1. Abnormal Smoke

If you notice your car emitting smoke more than it usually does, then you need to suspect wrong fuel in your tank. The smoke is usually as a result of the wrong fuel being unable to burn as it usually does.

The incompatible fuel might work perfectly at the beginning, but with time, it starts to damage the engine.

  1. The Engine Cuts Out Without a Warning

Once you fill your tank with the wrong fuel, the car suddenly stops a few minutes after leaving the fuelling station. You might think that everything is ok, but you find that you cannot start the engine after it stalls. This is because the wrong fuel affects the functioning of the engine, which means it can’t work as required. When this happens, you need to take urgent action immediately you realize something is wrong so that you don’t end up damaging the engine.

The engine also misfires when you attempt to drive. The signs are an erratic acceleration whenever you try to drive faster.

Why Is It wrong to Misfuel Yoru Car?

It is more dangerous and costly to put petrol in a diesel fuel tank than the opposite. This is because the nozzle that the diesel pump uses doesn’t fit into a petrol tank, which protects petrol car drivers from this type of misfuelling to an extent. However, the most common type of misfuelling occurs when you put petrol in a diesel tank.

This can be very unfortunate because petrol can have a great effect on a diesel engine than when vice versa. The issue here is that diesel comes with some lubricants that coat some parts of the engine to keep the components working properly. Petrol, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same lubricating qualities that diesel has. This means that the metal parts in the engine end up rubbing together and spoil the fuel pump. The extent of damage depends on how long the car runs after the misfuelling.

The other issue is that petrol and diesel easily mix as compared to one fuel type sitting on top of the other. This means that when you start the car, the problem starts as well.

Additionally, removing the fuel from the tank is a costly affair. You will definitely spend money in the hundreds whether the engine has been affected or it hasn’t been damaged at all. If there is any damage, the cost could run into the thousands depending on how many components have been damaged.

What Should You Do?

Now that you have realized that you have put the wrong fuel in your tank, what is the next step to take?

Stop the Car

The first thing is to stop the car that is if you had started the engine after the mishap. So, pull over and switch off the engine as soon as you can so that you prevent any further damage to your engine and the fuel system. This is the first step towards reducing the costs and making sure you maintain the integrity of the system.

If you hadn’t started the engine, then you need to leave the car where it is so that you don’t get the fuel running through the system. Don’t even switch on the ignition because this initiates the electric pump that circulates the contaminated oil within the engine.

Call In the Fuel Removal Company

Once you stop the car in a safe location, the next step is to call a fuel removal company so that the engineer can come to the location and carry out a full clean and flush as necessary. The engineer looks at the extent of damage and advises you as necessary on how long the process will take and how much it will cost you to have the issue fixed.

The Bottom-line

Vehicles have been designed in such a way that they use a certain type of fuel to run efficiently. Using the wrong type of fuel can lead to issues with performance as well as the running of the vehicle. You need to watch out for signs of misfuelling and then call in experts to help you handle the situation.